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Curse of the Narrows
by Laura M. MacDonald


Overview - What We're Reading Now
"Natural disasters that nearly destroyed Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917 - when two ships laden with explosives and headed for the war in Europe collided, followed by a tidal wave caused by the explosion, and a subsequent blizzard."
Don Berg - Books-A-Million, Niles, IL
Using primary sources--many of which have not been read in decades--MacDonald chronicles the devastating 1917 explosion that flattened much of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two ships bound for war-torn Europe collided in the harbor.
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More About Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. MacDonald
 
 
 
Overview

What We're Reading Now
"Natural disasters that nearly destroyed Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917 - when two ships laden with explosives and headed for the war in Europe collided, followed by a tidal wave caused by the explosion, and a subsequent blizzard."
Don Berg - Books-A-Million, Niles, IL


Using primary sources--many of which have not been read in decades--MacDonald chronicles the devastating 1917 explosion that flattened much of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two ships bound for war-torn Europe collided in the harbor. 40 illustrations. 2 maps.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 0802714587
  • ISBN-10: 0802714587
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publish Date: October 2005
  • Page Count: 355

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 56.
  • Review Date: 2005-08-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this recounting of the December 6, 1917, explosion that leveled much of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mac Donald gives a minutely detailed if not particularly lively rendition of what legend holds to be the most powerful manmade detonation before the testing of the atomic bomb in 1945. The unique natural characteristics of the city's harbor had long made it an ideal naval base of operations, and by 1917, Halifax had become a key transit point for war material bound from the ostensibly neutral United States to the beleaguered European allies. The merchant ship Mont Blanc, loaded with thousands of tons of TNT and the notoriously unstable explosive picric acid, was passing through the harbor's Narrows when it was struck by a Belgian relief vessel and exploded. More than 1,600 died, thousands more were injured and the blast wave collapsed buildings, in the words of a survivor, "like a grain field in harvest before a gust of wind." A television producer and Halifax native, Mac Donald draws out her narrative with excessive detail and flat prose, failing to bring her trove of first-person accounts to life. 40 b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Oct.)

 
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